Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ancient Greek Warship Olympias Could Sail the Hudson River

The ancient Greek warship known as a trireme was instrumental in helping the Greeks defeat the Persians in the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. Though images of the trireme appear on painted vases and carved reliefs, archaeologists have never found actual remains of this iconic ship. Scholarly curiosity impelled a Cambridge classicist and the chief naval architect for Britain's Ministry of Defense to research and reconstruct a full-scale model of the trireme in the 1980s. The reconstruction, named the Olympias, is 120 feet in length and weighs 55,000 pounds.

Today, a group of devoted fans of ancient Greece are rallying to restore the Olympias, correcting several flaws in the original design and refurbishing it, with the hope that they will be able to row it on the Hudson River next year. Once in New York, the trireme would require 170 rowers and about $275,000 in repairs. The knowledge scientists would be able to gain from conducting tests on it in water, however, would be very valuable to scholars, particularly in the creation of computer models of ancient battles.

Trireme in New York City, Inc., the corporation spearheading the project, hopes to bring the Olympias to New York in late spring or early summer of 2012.

For further information, as well as links to videos of the trireme in action, please visit:

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